At the recent Transport and Union Quarterly Leadership Meeting, Secretary of TfNSW, Josh Murray, provided an update on the long-awaited Opal cards for TfNSW workers. However, there are some roadblocks that need to be addressed before this union claim becomes a reality.
TfNSW advises that one of the main challenges is how the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) will interact with providing free Opal cards to TfNSW workers. This issue is currently under investigation, with the aim of finding a definitive conclusion. It is anticipated that once this hurdle is overcome, the doors will be open for all TfNSW employees to enjoy the benefits of a free Opal card.
To ensure that the Opal card initiative aligns with the needs of the workforce, TfNSW has announced that they will soon roll out a survey to gain a comprehensive understanding of travel habits. This data will help in assessing the forgone revenue from the Opal cards and make informed decisions moving forward. It is crucial for all members to actively participate in this survey to ensure their voices are heard.
TfNSW has set a timeline for the rollout of Opal cards to eligible bus operational staff, starting in Q1 2024. During this period, they will also seek Government approval to extend the program to all TfNSW staff, subject to necessary offsets. The ultimate goal is to have Opal cards in the hands of all eligible members by Q2 2024.
Once again, this claim wouldn’t be possible without PSA members and the tireless work of our delegates. We will keep you updated as the free Opal card gets closer to being a reality – you are all ‘one Transport’ after all!